Turn Your Target Audience Into Text Message Subscribers

Back to Navigating SMS

The first and most crucial step to any text marketing campaign is to secure subscribers. You can do this a few different ways, which we will explore in this piece.

If our industry guides have shown us anything, it’s that text marketing doesn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Yes, the underlying goal is generally the same—reach your audience with your messages. But how do you really see success in that? Unfortunately, simply having the service isn’t enough.

One of the most common questions from our customers is how do I get subscribers? 9/10 our first follow up question is, what are you doing so far to advertise the service?

There’s a reason we place so much emphasis when you get started on getting your first subscribers. We understand that it’s the most difficult part! It takes some work, but we’ve seen the dividends it pays when you finally make it click.

So, to help you truly “navigate SMS” we’ll break down some of the most foolproof ways to turn your target audience into text subscribers. Let’s start at the very beginning…

Who Are You Trying to Target?

If you haven’t already, it’s crucial to determine who your audience actually is. If you need some help understanding how to identify your target audience, we’ve written down some helpful tips.

How you plan on reaching a teenager is far different than how you might connect with a working mom. A school or university will need to connect with people differently than a restaurant. Depending on who you want to target, the way you advertise your texting service will be influenced.

For example, 13 to 25-year-olds have grown up with text messaging. They’re naturally more comfortable sharing their information. After all, they’re the generation who, after being told not to talk to or get in a car with strangers, went on to design an app that summons strangers from the internet to come pick you up in their car and take you places (thanks, Uber). So, when promoting text marketing to that demographic, convenience and comfort factors in and less information is often needed upfront.

On the other hand, when advertising text marketing to older generations, there’s more of a natural skepticism. What are you using my information for? Why should I give it to you? These are valid questions that need to be made clear within the promotion of your text marketing.

But more on that later. With the specifics of your target audience in mind, let’s explore some of the most successful ways people across all industries, have built out their subscriber list.

What Are You Already Doing to Collect Information?

A simple question that gives way to an even simpler solution. The easiest way to begin gathering subscribers is to make it clear in your existing communication channels with the message that you are an SMS savvy organization.

  • Does your audience fill out forms for you? If so, include a section with a check box asking if they’d like to receive texts from you. It’s an easy way to take something your customers/clients are already doing, and make it work to your benefit!

Read about one of our clients who used permission slips sent home to parents of third graders to gather almost 5,000 subscribers!

  • Do you have a contact form on your website? If you do, simply add in a section where visitors can put in their phone number to receive your messages. Just be sure you’re always securing consent from subscribers when collecting their information!

💡SimpleTexting Tip: Always be sure to spell out the intended purpose of your messages. People won’t sign up if they don’t know what they’re signing up for. Will you be sending weekly tips? Confirming appointments? If you’re providing added value to your audience AND making it easy for them to communicate, the subscribers will come pouring in.

  • Do people need to provide their number to sign up to use your service? If people are having to give you their information upon sign-up or ordering, you can easily bake the ability to subscribe into the ordering process! Just include a checkbox asking they’ve like to receive regular messages from you.
  • Do you have a physical location or store space? If your audience is interacting with you face-to-face, you should take every opportunity you have to advertise your keywords or SMS service. Create table tents to sit on displays with your information or place flyers by your checkout.
  • Do you have employees or faculty who interact directly with your audience? From checkout clerks to support staff, you can and should train all employees to reference your text service to customers!

Where is Your Audience Going to Find Things About You?

Another key strategy for gaining subscribers is to place your information in a space people are already looking for you. Marketing your SMS capabilities isn’t about reinventing the wheel after all! Again, the goal here is visibility. The more the public knows about your service and the value it provides, the easier it will become to get subscribers. You’ve got to push the rock to the edge to start harnessing that sweet momentum!

Here are some of the most common places people tend to search for information…

  • Social media: Pin a post to the top of your Facebook or Twitter page with directions to opt in to your service. For new visitors and followers, it also doesn’t hurt to post about the service on a staggered, semi-regular basis.
  • Websites: If your business or group has a website, odds are that’s the first place people go to look for information about you. Harness that by putting your shortcode or number on your home page with a prompt to text. Create a banner or pop up, or even use one of our web forms. We wrote the code for you, you just need to put it in!
  • Review sites: Love them or hate them, but consumers flock to sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, HomeAdvisor, and OpenTable to help them decide where to spend their money. Luckily, a lot of these sites give you the opportunity to input your information and respond to reviews. Take advantage of this opportunity by putting information about your SMS program into your profile.
  • An affiliate or partner: In some cases, organizations are driven by either personal or professional referrals. For example, a doctors office might have a preferred practice to send patients to, or a city may refer residents to a certain group for work. Whatever the case is, it’s important to share information about your texting program with those key stakeholders so they can go on to share that information with your audience.

Would 1-On-1 Business Texting Be a Better Solution?

After going through all this information do you find yourself still scratching your head? Don’t get discouraged. There could be a reason for the disconnect. Perhaps mass text messaging just isn’t the right strategy for you. It sounds crazy coming from us, but we can assure you we’ve got a point.

If mass texting isn’t a good fit for your business, it doesn’t mean that texting itself is off the table. Perhaps you’re just in need of a way for your employees, teachers, recruiters, etc. to connect one-on-one with your audience. Texting is still a brilliant solution. After all, around 26 billion texts are sent in the U.S every day and 99% of them are opened. When it comes to finding a way to reach people, texting has a near perfect track record.

So, how do you connect with those people outside of just mass marketing texts? We present, Business Texting. With business texting, we can set you up with a new number, or text-enable your existing business phone line. From there, you can text anyone, and they can text your business back.

Without having to use your own personal phone number or device, business texting delivers all the same benefits of mass texting, but on a one-on-one basis. You can still create templates, and schedule messages, you just won’t be sending out blasts to hundreds of subscribers at once. This is ideal for providing customer service, communicating internally with your team, creating hotlines, and more.

No matter what your needs are, texting is an easy and effective way to connect with your audience. Just remember that visibility is key! As soon as you get started with SimpleTexting, sharing your information will be the next step to unlocking success! Still want some help? We also have a guide with tips on how to retain more of your subscribers and reduce the rate of people who unsubscribe from your text marketing messages.

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